Sacramento, California – California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) has adopted a Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from California’s transportation fuels by ten per cent by 2020.

The regulation is aimed at diversifying the variety of fuels used for transportation, boosting the market for alternative-fuel vehicles and achieving 16 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions by 2020.

“The new standard means we can begin to break our century-old dependence on petroleum and provide California with greater energy security,” said Mary Nichols, ARB chairman. “The drive to force the market toward greater use of alternative fuels will be a boon to the state’s economy and public health. It reduces air pollution, creates new jobs and continues California’s leadership in the fight against global warming.”

According to ARB, over 25 new biofuel facilities will have to be built, creating more than 3,000 new jobs, to produce the more than 1.5 billion gallons of biofuel needed. The jobs will be created mostly in the state’s rural areas.

The regulation requires providers, refiners, importers and blenders to ensure that the fuels they provide for the California market meet an average declining standard of “carbon intensity.” This is established by determining the sum of GHG emissions associated with the production, transportation and consumption of the fuel, also called the “fuel pathway.” Economic mechanisms will allow the market to choose the most cost-effective clean fuels, giving California consumers the widest variety of fuel options.

Regulators expect the new generation of fuels to come from technology that uses algae, wood, agricultural waste, common invasive weeds, and even municipal solid waste. The standard is also expected to drive the availability of plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell cars, while promoting investment in electric charging stations and hydrogen fuelling stations.

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